Cincinnati Reds in Review: RP Logan Ondrusek


Well, we didn’t exactly save the best for last, but we did save Logan Ondrusek for last. Why him? For the past nine seasons, the Cincinnati Reds are all the “Big O” has known, and now with him becoming a free agent, his days in the Queen City are likely over.

So, as an expression of gratitude for his service to our baseball club, Mr. Ondrusek will be the one rounding up the cattle.

Logan Ondrusek – Relief Pitcher

The odyssey began back in 2005 in Billings, Montana, when a 20-year-old right-hander that looked as suited to play in the post as straddle a pitching mound, took the hill in rookie ball for the Reds. Nine seasons later, Logan Ondrusek remains one of the mysteries of the Reds’ recent organizational regime.

Originally selected in the 36th round out of high school by the Houston Astros, Ondrusek rebuffed their offer and waited two more seasons before being selected by the Reds in the 13th round. It’s not as if the Reds spent a high draft pick on him, which makes it all the more impressive that he stayed with the same organization for nearly a decade, yet never being a true indispensable member of the bullpen.

In short, Ondrusek had a bizarre 2014 season. He’d strike out a career high in batters per nine innings (9.2), have a career-low ERA+ (66), have a career-low FIP (which is a good thing!) of 3.91, and would allow 11 hits per nine innings. He was awful and average, mediocre and maddening.

Making just 40 appearances all year, the Big O was shorted to just 11 in the second half after multiple injuries derailed his season yet again. Tossing a career-low 41 innings, and on the precipice of him turning 30 years old before the 2015 season, the Reds decided it was time to cut ties.

Ondrusek’s Stat Line:

3-3, 5.49 ERA, 41 IP, 42 K, 3.91 FIP, 1.61 WHIP, .296 OAV, .366 BAbip

Top Logan Ondrusek Moment:

Often the last body to saunter out of the bullpen, Ondrusek’s role in 2014 was anything but defined. Two of wins came in multiple-inning efforts that were crucial for his team—at the time.

The first came on May 19, which is also known remembered for being the game that wouldn’t end. Fifteen innings, the Nationals, rain, Todd Frazier’s home run, you know the one. The winner of that game was none other than Ondrusek. Due to baseball’s quirky rules for relief pitchers getting wins, despite giving up a run and basically “saving” the game, Ondrusek was credited with a win.

His other big win came on July 8 at home against the Chicago Cubs on the back-end of a day-night doubleheader the Reds would sweep. He’d pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth inning in a tied ball game, before Billy Hamilton would send the folks home happy with a walk-off single giving the Big O his third and final win of the year.

Low Point of the Season for Logan Ondrusek:

In seven separate appearances on the season, Ondrusek allowed multiple runs. Yet his worst game may not have been one where he allowed multiple runs, but one where he recorded zero outs (there was only one of those).

On August 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals, the game was knotted up at five in the bottom of the tenth inning. Manny Parra had recorded the first out of the inning, before conceding to Ondrusek. From there, three straight singles by Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, and Jhonny Peralta ended the contest, before Ondrusek could so much as record an out.

Final Grade: C-

Contrary to what the stats indicate, Ondrusek wasn’t nearly as bad in 2014 as many believed him to be. He’s certainly run his course with the Reds, and at age 30, his major league days may not be over just yet.

We wish Logan the best if he does choose to sign elsewhere, as long as he doesn’t come back to hurt the Reds, of course.